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French, Romanian ministers to meet over Roma gypsy issue.

French and Romanian Interior, European Affairs and

Integration Ministers will meet here Thursday to discuss the controversial

issue of Roma gypsies which France last week started to send home to Rumania

under a financial reward plan, official sources said. The French government has begun a plan to dismantle makeshift Roma camps

around the country and has convinced hundreds of Roma to leave the country for

Rumania, paying each adult 300 euros (USD 370) and adding 100 euros for each

Roma child. Human rights groups have protested the French operation as violating the

Roma's rights and European Union officials have called France to order,

reminding the government that Roma gypsies are EU citizens and free to move

and settle within any of the 27 Union nations. France says it intends to send home about 700 Roma, and several hundred

have already left for the Rumanian capital, Bucharest. There are an estimated

15,000 Roma in France but most of these are integrated an legal. President Nicolas Sarkozy and Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux claim that

the illegal camps are hotbeds for criminal activity, but critics of the

expulsions say they are politically motivated and part of a new, repressive

security policy. Romania has reacted strongly against the French decision and the meeting

Thursday is aimed at easing tensions between the two countries. French European Affairs Minister Pierre Lellouche is hosting the meeting

that will include Rumanias minister in charge of integration of the Roma

population, Valentin Mocanu, and Dan Valentin Mocanu, the Romanian Interior

Minister.

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Publication:Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)
Date:Aug 25, 2010
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